- Prediction of the Destruction of the Temple (24:1-2)
- The Coming of Christ in Relation to Israel (24:3-44)
- The Coming of Christ in Relation to the Christian World (24:45 – 25:30)
- The Coming of Christ in Relation to the Gentiles (25:31-46)
At which time one of the soldiers, without staying for any orders, and without any concern or dread upon him at so great an undertaking, and being hurried on by a certain divine fury, snatched somewhat out of the materials that were on fire, and being lifted up by another soldier, he set fire to a golden window, through which there was a passage to the rooms that were round about the holy house, on the north side of it. 
Moreover, the hope of plunder induced many to go on, as having this opinion, that all the places within were full of money, and as seeing that all round about it was made of gold. 
- “When shall these things be?” This refers to the destruction of the temple. When Luke reports the Olivet Discourse, he includes a significant section of our Lord’s answer that addresses this question (Luke 21:12-24). But in Matthew, the Lord passes over this question completely. Surely, the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D. was disastrous for the nation of Israel, but it is nothing compared to the end of the age.
- “What is the sign of thy coming?” This refers to the appearing. This question is taken up by the Lord in His discourse, in the third group of signs; vv.29-44. He takes up His coming with respect to Israel first, then Christendom, then the Gentiles.
- “What is the sign of the end of the age?” This refers to the fulfillment of all prophecy from the beginning of “this age”, which Bible students sometimes call the “Mosaic” age. The completion of the age includes the seventieth week of Daniel, and the event surrounding the return of Christ, up until the establishment of the Millennial kingdom, which is “the age to come” (read more…). The Lord answers this question in the first two groups of “signs”, vv.4-28.
Another thing we can take from this verse is that prophecy is best learned in the spirit of inquiry.
Signs Pertaining to the Beginning of Sorrows (vv.4-14)
The Disciples as the Remnant. The Lord addresses the disciples in this section as faithful Jews. He speaks of future events, but there was no thought in their minds that a great span of time would pass before the events would be accomplished. The disciples occupy the place of the Jewish remnant, and the Lord’s words to them are really to the remnant of a latter day. One of the things we will notice as we go through this first section (vv.3-44) is the Jewish character of the teaching. There are many things that indicate this is not referring to Christians in the church period; one example is v.20 where a reference is made to keeping the Sabbath.
The Danger of Being Misled by False Christs (vv.4-5)
The Danger of Being Overwhelmed by the Judgments (vv.6-8)
The Danger of Being Overcome by Persecution (vv.9-13)
The Gospel of the Kingdom (v.14)
Signs Pertaining to the Great Tribulation (vv.15-28)
The Abomination of Desolation Set Up (v.15)
Physical Persecution (vv.16-22)
Spiritual Seduction (vv.23-26)
The Unmistakable Manner of the Coming of Christ (vv.27-28)
Signs Pertaining to the Appearing of Christ (vv.29-44)
Moral and Spiritual Darkness (v.29)
Public Manifestation of the Son of Man (v.30)
The Restoration of the Nation of Israel (v.31)
Added Detail: The Sureness of these Things (vv.34-35)
Added Detail: The Specific Time of the Appearing Unknown (vv.36-39)
Added Detail: The Harvest Judgment (vv.40-41)
The Importance of Watching for His Coming (vv.42-44)
- The Parable of the Two Stewards (24:45-51) emphasizes the need for Faithfulness
- The Parable of the Ten Virgins (25:1-13) emphasizes the need for Watchfulness
- The Parable of the Talents (25:14-30) emphasizes the need for Usefulness
1st Stage: Travelling – The Position of the Early Kingdom (vv.1-4)
2nd Stage: Slumbering – The Kingdom in the Dark Ages (v.5)
3rd Stage: Awakening – The Recovery of the Truth (vv.6-9)
4th Stage: Testing – The Coming of Christ (vv.10-13)
Application to the Disciples of the Kingdom (v.13)
- The Sons of the bridechamber (Matt. 9:15, Mark 2:19-20, Luke 5:34-35). In this case Christ is the bridegroom of Israel, and the sons of the bridechamber are the faithful remnant.
- The Ten Virgins (Matt. 25:1-10). In this case Christ is the bridegroom of the church, but the bride isn’t mentioned. Instead, the ten virgins are a picture of the Christian testimony through the ages. See also Matt. 22:1-14.
- The marriage of Cana (John 2:9). This is a millennial picture, and Christ is the bridegroom of restored Israel. The bride isn’t even mentioned.
- The friend of the bridegroom (John 3:29). Christ is the bridegroom of Israel, and the faithful remnant is the bride.
The Sheep and the Goats: The Sessional Judgment (25:31-46)
- The Works of Flavius Josephus, The War of the Jews. Book 6, Chapter 4, Paragraph 5 – 7